Huron Perth provides COVID tracing assistance to Peel Public Health

·2 min read

HURON-PERTH – Across the region, there is now a total of 143 cases of COVID-19, one active case and no hospitalizations or outbreaks in long-term care homes, schools or childcare centres.

Due to the low number of cases locally, on Oct. 26 Huron Perth Public Health started assisting Peel Public Health with case and contact tracing.

“We will continue to assist until our help is no longer needed,” said Dr. Miriam Klassen, Huron Perth medical officer of health. “As I’ve said before, if cases are high anywhere in Ontario then there is a risk to Huron-Perth. Helping other public health units is a way to not only help our fellow Ontarians but also to protect ourselves.”

Previously, assistance was provided to Winsor-Essex earlier when there was a large cluster of cases in that region.

“The province has a provincial case and contact management tool we all use,” said Klassen. “We use it to refer cases and contacts to one another so our staff can remotely provide that assistance. So that’s one of the advantages of technology in this case.”

About half of the 12 staff members dedicated to case and contact tracing are assisting Peel Public Health at this time.

“If we have additional cases in Huron-Perth, we can add (more),” she said. “Because COVID response is a priority we have additional staff trained to do this work as well who could assist.”

At this time Klassen does not anticipate a surge in cases which would make it hard for Huron-Perth staff to meet the needs of the region but if it were to happen she said they would communicate that to both the province and Peel Public Health and tell them to look for other solutions.

“We have a lot of capacity because we trained so many of our staff as we were preparing for a second wave and while we were experiencing a second peak, I wouldn’t call it a second wave, but a second peak in the summer which was associated with the large cluster that spread from Windsor-Essex,” she said.

Klassen estimated there is now 60 staff trained to perform contact tracing if needed.

Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner